UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR: CAUSES AND REMEDIES
In this post, we will discuss causes & remedies of unethical behavior, an important topic of Module E of JAIIB LRAB Nov 2022 Exam.
So, as we know that the exams of Junior Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers are due in near future for the November attempt & if this is your last attempt then you must give all your sweat & blood in its preparation! JAIIB short for the said exam of IIBF is due from November & the Law paper (Legal & Regulatory Aspects of Banking) is due on Sunday, November 20, 2022.
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So, let us begin with our notes on: UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR: Causes and Remedies
So, let begin by asking ourselves, what behavior is considered unethical?
Unethical behavior is actually a vague concept which includes violations of both legal & generally accepted moral standards. If the behavior of any employee or manager directly or indirectly negatively affects the psychological climate of the team or its moral values, it can be considered as something unethical.
Unethical behavior could easily includes:
- Unacceptably rude statements or gestures towards fellow colleagues;
- Persecution of a person or group of persons for religious, racial or other differences;
- Harassment, ridicule or offensive remarks;
- Manifestations of aggression & restraint;
- Discrimination (specifically – Gender);
- Lying to family members, friends, colleagues in order to gain unscrupulous profit;
- Stealing money from home or workplace,
- Borrowing money from a friend and not repaying with the intention of deceiving him,
- Having an extramarital affair,
- Speaking ill of friends, relatives or colleagues behind their back,
- Personal business during working hours,
- Manipulation of expense reimbursement,
- Selling property without telling the buyer its defective title or structural defects or accident history of the vehicle, etc.
- Employees using office property or resources for personal purposes,
- Employees taking home office supplies, giving credit to others’ achievements,
- Accepting outside of work or the office without prior approval of the appropriate authority,
- sexually harassing a subordinate employee using their position,
- Purchasing clerk or Manager accepting gifts or free trips from vendor and then chooses the vendor’s products for companies to purchase etc.
It is an action that goes against what is considered morally right for a person, business or profession, or even in politics. It can also be a person’s behavior that deviates from the principles admired in the community where she or he lives.
TYPES OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR IN BUSINESS:
It could include:
- Discharging pollutants into the water supply instead of properly treating the pollution,
- releasing toxins into the air at levels beyond what is permitted outside the Environmental Protection Agency,
- knowingly manufacturing items that have inherent environmental risks,
- false advertising to convince customers to they bought the company’s product;
- the refusal to recognize a warranty claim for a defective product,
- withholding a report on an unfavorable development in the company until the end of the shareholders’ meeting.
- classifying an employee as an independent contractor rather than an employee in order to avoid entitlement to benefits and compensation;
- failure to pay workers a fair wage;
- employing children who have not yet reached the legal working age and
- unsafe or unsanitary working conditions
are all unethical.
UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR OF PROFESSIONALS:
Unethical behavior by professionals is behavior that is contrary to professional ethics.
It could include:
- The company’s external auditor will provide full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure of financial information. Failure to report non-compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations is discreditable to his profession.
- A law firm that takes on a new client who is unfavorable to other clients the firm has represented, past and present, is professionally unethical.
- A doctor who does not tell a patient his true diagnosis and refers the patient to a special testing or treatment center to exclude himself from those centers is unethical.
- A teacher engages in private tutoring, there is a risk that there is an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest.
UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR OF POLITICIANS:
It could include:
- Giving out money, liquor, food and gifts etc. to bribe voters, spending money on election propaganda beyond the limit set by the Election Commission,
- using money that has been donated to the election campaign for personal, unauthorized expenses,
- decisions by a political party using government machinery to harass political opponents and arresting rivals with fabricated cases etc. are unethical behavior of politicians.
- The involvement of large corporations in political campaigns and their sponsorship of certain politicians in order to obtain concessions or tax exemptions for their products once they are in power raises a number of ethical issues.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR?
Many people do not care about ethical values and self-interest, career ambitions and outright greed; are the cornerstone of their unethical activities. When people are stressed and economic pressures increase, then those people are tempted to act in ways that may not be ethical i.e.
- The pressure to meet unrealistic business goals and deadlines also tempts people to indulge in unethical practices.
- Because of ignorance of their actions that they are unethical and not knowing the magnitude of the consequences when they could get caught.
- Some people think that if everyone is doing it, it must be right. When a colleague is involved in multiple malpractices for personal gain but is not caught, other people also tend to initiate such malpractices.
- Absence of a code of ethics and poor leadership in an organization are other causes of ethical misconduct.
WHAT ARE THE REMEDIES AGAINST UNETHICAL PRACTICES IN THE WORKPLACE?
A primary cause of unethical behavior may be the absence of maintaining the type of reliable leadership that is necessary to run an ethical organization. Some businesses have no formal ethics policy documents and offer no guidelines at all. In some cases, they have policies that are unclear, vague, inconsistent, or not consistently enforced.
The solution entails:
Managers must practice what they preach to subordinates. If employees see the boss enforcing actions and decisions that are unethical, they may do the same.
Spreading awareness regarding – on how to report unethical behavior in a code of ethics. This is because many employees fear the consequences of reporting unethical activities. And that is because, in many cases, people who behave illegally are of higher status in society. They don’t want to damage their careers or incur the wrath of the perpetrator or simply don’t know how to report such activities.
Therefore, every organization must develop a manual and ethical code of conduct to restore and maintain a culture that promotes honest and ethical behavior.
The organization’s top managers must verbally promote an ethical environment and speak persistently.
Making ethical behavior becomes part of the organization’s agenda.
Annual training on business ethics for employees should be established and a good whistle blowing mechanism (When an insider raises the alarm of something unethical, it is called whistle blowing) should be in place.
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